Traditionally, the “Gulal” colour was made at home using the flowers of the trees. The flowers once plucked from the tree were dried in the sun and then ground to fine dust. The powdered dust was then mixed in water, which gave the most vibrant hue of saffron red. The Holi hues also came from various plant sources, such as the green colour came from the neem leaves and yellow came from turmeric. Henna, marigolds, red sandalwood, pomegranate, indigo and charcoal were also used to make the holi hues. In the modern era, however, the holi colours contain chemicals such as lead oxide, copper sulphate, mercury Sulphite which have various detrimental effects on the human body.
To avoid these harmful effects on the human body and the environment, let us all pledge to take steps to celebrate holi in an eco-friendly way. A few steps that can be taken by us are :
- Play holi with natural colours : Playing holi with natural colours is the best way of celebrating this colourful festival. Natural colour does not have a detrimental effect on the environment, nor does it have on the humans. You can either make the natural simple colours at home or you can purchase natural colours from various groups that have taken the steps of producing and selling natural colours. Such colours are not only harmless but they also come off easily.
2. Burn environmental-friendly waste for holi bonfire : The burning of fuel wood for Holika Dahan presents a serious environmental problem. We should start following the Indian tradition in an eco-friendly way. We should start using scraps of waste boxes, cow-dung, coconut wastes and camphor to light up instead of wood as it will reduce the pollution by a notch. It will also save trees and have a greener environment.
3.Promote dry holi : In the current situation, most of the cities in India is facing acute scarcity of water. During the festival of holi, it common for people to douse eachother with wasteful buckets of water, and often young children indulge in throwing water balloons at each other – this not only wastes water but the water balloons can also injure an individual. The concept of dry holi seems like an alien concept, especially since the weather goes a lot warmer during this festival and water provides relief from all the heat. However, it seems reckless to waste so much water for the mere celebration of a festival, especially when certain places all over India go without water for several days. Therefore, let us all pledge to play dry holi from this year onwards.
4. Avoid using water balloons and plastic bags : Holi, the festival of colours, is a festival to spread happiness. Individuals, especially young children use water balloons and plastic bags which can cause injury or can damage external organs and environment. The remains of plastic bags and water balloons also pollute the environment. Therefore, from this year let us all avoid the use of plastic bags and water balloons and also stop others from doing so, and play a safe and cheerful holi.
5. Celebrate holi with flowers : Holi is a festival that signifies the arrival of spring therefore, a lot of places in India decorate themselves with ornaments of flowers and dress up like Radha-Krishna to welcome spring. Playing holi with flowers is a simple and eco-friendly way, since the flowers can be easily disposed and recycled and they don’t contain any sort of chemicals or toxins. While playing holi with flowers, it should be kept in mind that the flowers should not be dumped in water, rather they should be thrown in the dustbin. Many parts of North India, such as Lucknow, involve in this kind of celebration. When playing an eco-friendly holi we not only save the environment but we also protect our self from various health hazards. Therefore, this year, let us all pledge to play a safe and eco-friendly holi by taking small steps and initiatives for the welfare of our society
HAPPY HOLI !